Mar 10th, 2007 by Jane Neff Rollins
My great-grandmother’s name was Anna Vatnik or Vatnikovskaya; she was born in Slonim (now in Belarus) not far from Bialystok, and was an only child of Abraham and wifeâ€™s name unknown. Anna was married to a yeshiva bocher named (Klebansky from some unknown location, probably in Lithuania), but we know nothing of his parents or siblings. His first name may have been Getsel or Joseph. Annaâ€™s parents gave them their dry goods shop in Slonim to manage.
Their youngest daughter, Sophie, was my grandmother. Sophie had a brother Isaac, and 3 sisters, Jeannette, Roza and Mary.
Anna divorced Getsel about 1905 (what a shanda!!), remarried Shlomo Zalman Cheifetz and moved with him to Volkovysk, then emigrated to Petach Tikvah, Palestine in 1922. Getsel/Joseph ran off with his bookkeeper (the reason for the divorce), and may have had additional children.
Jeanette became a dentist and immigrated to Chicago about 1905, followed in 1912 by my grandmother. The others stayed in Russia. Isaac became a physician in the Soviet army. Roza committed suicide circa 1912 over a love affair gone wrong. Manya married and had a son (husbandâ€™s last name unknown). Grandma never heard from Manya or Isaac after World War II, and we assume they perished in the Holocaust.